The 5 most underrated players in Detroit Lions history
3. S Bennie Blades
Blades spent nine of his 10 NFL seasons with the Lions, with at least 90 total tackles in all eight seasons he played more than four games with Detroit. Consistently overshadowed by great safeties of his era who were on more notable and successful teams, he earned just one Pro Bowl selection (1991)–while being the best player in Detroit’s secondary and one of the best players on the entire Lions’ defense.
One of the hardest hitting safeties in the league during his time, Blades acknowledged back in 2018 (via the Detroit Free Press) the rampant repurcussions of the way he played (multiple concussions, back issues he still deals with that caused him to retire, etc.). His “enforcer” style would invite fines and suspensions in today’s NFL, if nothing else.
But Lions’ fans remember Blades fondly for how good he was on the back end of the Detroit defense for several years, and those he tackled were often left with something to remember him by too.